Gun Noob Needs Advice on Servicing an old .45 [Archive] - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum

: Gun Noob Needs Advice on Servicing an old .45


SaharaBlackNo1
03-07-2009, 03:22 PM
Ok, so I've been going through some of the mountains of stuff my grandmother had and I came across my grandfather's old .45. An M 1911 A1 U.S. Army, Remington Rand to be as precise as possible.

I'd like to know if it makes sense just to take it to a local gunsmith and have them service it. Physically it's in decent shape considering it probably hasn't been fired, cleaned or even had the box opened in I'm guessing at least 40 years or so, but it does have some spots of surface rust, the grip is wood and well worn, etc.

I don't want to just have it prettied up and mount it on a wall, I'd like to use it. Does that make sense or should I just purchase something new? Thanks for any input.

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd165/SaharaBlackNo1/45.jpg

Preacher
03-07-2009, 03:35 PM
A vintage RR 1911 could be worth a lot more than the cost of a new Colt.

You should check out a few resources online, get an idea of what it is worth. Then you can decide whether it is a shooter or a keeper.

Check here: http://www.sightm1911.com/1911Production.htm

It shows that yours is: Remington Rand: S/N 916,405 to 955,000 = 1943

Then go here: http://www.m1911.org/

A similar pistol is going for $2500 on GunsAmerica

http://www.gunsamerica.com/945795291/Guns/Pistols/Military-Misc-Pistols-US/1911-Pattern/M1911A1_REMINGTON_RAND_45_ACP_ORIGINAL_U_S_ARMY_IS SUE_PISTOL_1943.htm



As for servicing, if it isn't an investment peice, then just do it yourself. They are super easy to disassemble and clean.

airric00
03-07-2009, 03:38 PM
Pm Dusty.. He would know...


Don't fire it till you do have it inspected and cleaned just in case! I don't know shat about handguns, but I'm guessing what you have is worth some money as a collectors item. Most likely I wouldn't tote this one around much. Get something new to play with and use this one sparingly!

Nice to have a piece of your history like that!

Mr.RonGilbert
03-07-2009, 03:44 PM
IMO - That one needs a little TLC, a shadow box and a photo of G-pa...

I have a rifle that both of my granddads owned and hunted with. It can never be replaced - I am going to take care of it and keep it in the safe.

You can get 1911s all day long.... that is the only one of those that there will ever be...


If you insist on shooting it - X100 on the inspection by a gunsmith first. The springs in the gun and mags have been under tension for a long, long time....

SaharaBlackNo1
03-07-2009, 03:51 PM
Boy you guys are fast. Thanks for the good info. I'm going to check the sites mentioned now. Seems like there's nothing you can't find out on JKO. lol

Edit:
And I absolutely wouldn't fire it without having it inspected first. Mainly considering that it's so old, I will most likely have it properly serviced, brought back to life and then keep it on display. I didn't actually know it was as old as it turned out to be.

usmcdoc14
03-07-2009, 08:43 PM
whatever you do do NOT "restore" it.

Disassembly is the same as any 1911, instructions are easy to find online. Springs wear out from "use" not from under tension unless they are crappy springs. A New spring pack from Brownells would freshen it up anyway and I would install it just to get you to understand the weapon better. I would also get a new extractor.
Get some new mags and save those old ones with that ammo.
rust will come off with some brass wool or 0000 steel wool and oil. watch to make sure you done remove any excess blueing off.
The barrel/chamber should be clean and have no rust/pitting and the rifleing having crisp lands/gooves.

If the barrel looks good and there is no obvious cracks I would call it safe. its a 1911, they are a pretty durable gun :grinpimp:

with all of that done I would shoot it. All guns need to be shot, it makes them happy :D

SaharaBlackNo1
03-08-2009, 07:08 AM
usmcdoc, why not "restore" it? And my idea of "restoration" was just getting the surface rust off, making sure all moving parts were working as new, replacing any springs that might need it, etc and some new grips (that look like the originals).

Thanks!

kerryp
03-08-2009, 07:35 AM
I think what he is saying is to not refinish it (i.e. reblue it) or change the patina and the way it looks. In other words don't restore it and make it look brand new. Its ok to get the rust off and oil it up and replace bad parts and springs (I would keep the old ones), etc.

SaharaBlackNo1
03-08-2009, 09:22 AM
Thanks Kerry. That was my idea, not to make it look new, just to remove the rust, get all the parts working right. The safety seems to be locked up, luckily disengaged. Everything on the inside of the slide, etc looks to be in good shape, just needs a good cleaning.

If anyone's got a suggestion for removing the rust without damaging, scratching etc, the best products to use, let me know.

Thanks again all.

Mr.RonGilbert
03-08-2009, 09:31 AM
Thanks Kerry. That was my idea, not to make it look new, just to remove the rust, get all the parts working right. The safety seems to be locked up, luckily disengaged. Everything on the inside of the slide, etc looks to be in good shape, just needs a good cleaning.

If anyone's got a suggestion for removing the rust without damaging, scratching etc, the best products to use, let me know.

Thanks again all.

I think that USMC nailed that in his post.

"rust will come off with some brass wool or 0000 steel wool and oil"

Some good ol' break free gun oil has worked for my stuff. There is a bunch of gun oil on the market and a quick search on google resulted in a bunch of hits....

SaharaBlackNo1
03-08-2009, 11:09 AM
Thanks. I didn't know if anyone had a favorite gun oil. And as long as the steel wool won't harm it, then that's what I'll use. I'm not only a noob, but a big chicken and didn't want to do more harm than good. lol

Again I appreciate everyone taking the time out to give their opinions.

Broncojohn
03-08-2009, 11:18 AM
whatever you do do NOT "restore" it.

Disassembly is the same as any 1911, instructions are easy to find online. Springs wear out from "use" not from under tension unless they are crappy springs. A New spring pack from Brownells would freshen it up anyway and I would install it just to get you to understand the weapon better. I would also get a new extractor.
Get some new mags and save those old ones with that ammo.
rust will come off with some brass wool or 0000 steel wool and oil. watch to make sure you done remove any excess blueing off.
The barrel/chamber should be clean and have no rust/pitting and the rifleing having crisp lands/gooves.

If the barrel looks good and there is no obvious cracks I would call it safe. its a 1911, they are a pretty durable gun :grinpimp:

with all of that done I would shoot it. All guns need to be shot, it makes them happy :D

x2, don't let anyone con you into restoring the piece. I have my fathers old RR national match he had re parkerized in the 70's and it drops the value alot. It's still a nail driver, I shoot it weekly.

SDMF
03-08-2009, 01:58 PM
She's beautiful the way she is! As was said above, little steel wool and some oil. You can replace all the springs very cheap from brownells. I'm a member of http://forums.1911forum.com/ (http://forums.1911forum.com/), it's another great resource.

I'm totally jealous, love old 1911's!!! :bounce::bounce::bounce:

SaharaBlackNo1
03-08-2009, 02:56 PM
Ok, gun oil, some fine steel wool it is. I'll pick the oil up tomorrow and start working on it this week.

Thanks for the great info and the links to the sites. I'm looking forward to really getting to know the 45 and all it's workings.

If I decide to take it to the range, should I replace the grips? They're not overly worn and would handle just fine, but thought that perhaps since they're the once part of the gun that would really show the wear from handling it, maybe I should remove them until I decide to mount it?

Riverkid
03-08-2009, 02:59 PM
.... The safety seems to be locked up, luckily disengaged.

The safety doesn't work unless the hammer is pulled back... Ensure the gun is clear by racking the slide, and with her in condition 1 the safety should work as intended... Or not. LOL that's a heckuva find and I'd just clean her up and do as you please...

usmcdoc14
03-08-2009, 03:25 PM
usmcdoc, why not "restore" it? And my idea of "restoration" was just getting the surface rust off, making sure all moving parts were working as new, replacing any springs that might need it, etc and some new grips (that look like the originals).

Thanks!

Like others have said, "restoring" it would drop its value a LOT. cleaning it up is one thing but no "refinishing or modifications", buy another 1911 for that :laughing:

SOAK it in CLP before doing anything, remove the grips if you can first but if you feel the slightest bit of screw stripping then stop.

make sure you use 0000 steel wool, brass wool or even crumpled aluminum foil with a good amount of oil to remove the rust. watch your progress to make sure you are not removing the bluing.

It looks like the top screw on that side is not original but I could be wrong. save those grips and don't damage them.

SaharaBlackNo1
03-08-2009, 04:04 PM
Thanks USMC. I think being a noob I wasn't using the right words. When I was saying restore, I basically meant what you're describing. I basically just want to get the surface rust off. I definitely don't need a 65yr old gun to look new. And I will definitely go easy with the steel wool, that was my biggest concern with it, damaging the pistol. Hopefully, I can have it looking clean and functioning smoothly in no time thanks to everyone's input.

It'll give me something else to tinker with instead of the Jeep, while it goes in to the shop in the next couple weeks. lol

SDMF
03-08-2009, 04:35 PM
I'd swap the grips out for shooting - but that's me. :D

Check these out. http://www.vzgrips.com/grips.html http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x292/whitehouse78/45921565headbang.gif